Us: Five Reasons You'll Love It
After years plying his trade as an actor and as one half of TV comedy duo Key and Peele, alongside Keegan Michael Key, Jordan Peele turned his hand to directing in 2017 and delivered his debut feature with the dazzlingly original horror Get Out.
Despite a modest budget of $4.5 million and a relatively low-key release, rave reviews from critics and audiences alike saw Peele's film become one of the surprise hits of the year, reeling over $255 million at the box office and earning four nominations at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture, with Peele taking home a well-deserved Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
Peele's debut marked him out as one of the most exciting new directors around, and so it's with more than a little anticipation that we welcome the arrival of Peele's new film Us, which debuts in UK cinemas today.
Starring Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker, the story revolves around a family taking a vacation in their holiday home near the beach in Santa Cruz, where the family matriarch Adelaide Wilson (Nyongo'o) grew up.
However, their tranquility is soon interrupted by the arrival of an eerie family who look just like them, leading to a revelation about a disturbing secret about Adelaide's past that has been keeping from her husband Gabe (Duke) and her two children, Jason (Evan Alex) and Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph).
With Us in cinemas from today, we caught a screening and rounded up five reasons why you'll love Peele's gripping new horror...
Jordan Peele proves that Get Out wasn't a one-off
Without wanting to diminish Peele's obvious talents, it's fair to say that Get Out was something of a dark horse that took many people by surprise when it first arrived in 2017 and showed that there was much more to Peele than his skill as a comic actor. This time around expectations will be much higher, but Us doesn't disappoint and proves that Peele is a writer-director with a knack for imaginative and chilling concepts that really get under your skin.
Lupita Nyong'o is outstanding
Peele may be the brains behind the camera, but it's Lupita Nyong'o that really steals the show in front of the lens. Besides that fact that her character is the focal point of the story, her performance here is a tour-de-force throughout, both as Adelaide and her terrifying alter-ego.
It's one of the most cerebral horror movies you'll see this year
Whereas Get Out was clearly an allegorical story about social issues such as race and class, Us is a film that could be understood on more than one level and there are elements of the narrative which seem to be deliberately left open to interpretation. You may draw a completely different conclusion to the person sitting next to you, but it's certainly a film which provokes the viewer to think a little more deeply than your average horror movie.
The soundtrack is genuinely haunting
There are lots of different elements at play here from the opening theme's spooky choral arrangements of n Michael Abels' score to a truly disturbing reworking of Luniz' hip-hop classic 'I Got 5 On It', but they're all skilfully woven together to create a soundtrack that really ratchets up the tension.
When it's over, you're going to want to watch the whole thing all over again
Elements of the story drop like pieces of a puzzle as the film progresses and there are various hints and clues laid throughout which point to where the story is going, but the final scenes play out with a killer twist that leaves your head spinning and calls into question everything you think you've understood about what you've just witnessed. As with so many great films, Us is one that is well worth watching more than once.
Us is in UK cinemas now